Friday, July 21, 2006

GLBT NEWS DIGEST July 21, 2006


Why we're losing gay marriage cases

July 20, 2006

Washington Blade

It's truly the dog days of summer in the battle for marriage equality. This
month alone, judges in six states - New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut,
Georgia, Nebraska and Tennessee - have ruled against lawsuits brought by gay
marriage supporters.

The worst defeat was in New York, where the state's highest court decided it
was constitutional to exclude gay couples from marrying because there are
rational reasons other than disapproval of gay relationships for doing so.

The justification cited by the court was protecting the welfare of children,
who Judge Robert S. Smith said would best be served by a mother and a
father. He acknowledged no research support for that conclusion, but argued
"intuition" was enough.


Its like theyre allergic to the truth: Focus on the Family answers Soulforce
criticism by taking more research out of context

"It's like they're allergic to the truth:" Focus on the Family answers
Soulforce criticism by taking more research out of context

Day three of march continues from Colorado state capitol to Focus on the
Family headquarters

For Immediate Release
Contact: Richard Lindsay, Interim Media Director
Cell: 646-258-7193

DENVER, CO - Responding to comments from NYU sociologist Dr. Judith Stacey
that Focus on the Family had twisted her research about the children of
same-sex parents to justify anti-gay discrimination, Focus on the Family
twisted the conclusions of another researcher. In an Associated Press report
published on Tuesday in newspapers across the nation, Focus on the Family
spokesperson and Bush administration advisor Glenn T. Stanton cited an
article by Mary Parke from the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)
which he said shows that children need a mother and a father.



Violence in Israel Caused by 'Gay' Event?
By Alex Traiman
Wednesday 07.19.06

Rabbis link troubles to approval of World Pride parade in Jerusalem

BEIT EL, Israel - Are Israel's troubles in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon and
the Hezbollah rockets slamming daily into major Israeli population centers
here a result of the Jewish state's tacit support for a homosexual parade
slated for next month in Jerusalem?

Some rabbis seem to think so, and they are attempting to block the event
from taking place in Judaism's holiest city.

"Why does this war break out this week, all of sudden with little warning?
Because this is the exact week the Jewish people are trying to decide
whether the gay pride parade should take place in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv,"
Pinchas Winston, a noted author, rabbi and lecturer based in Jerusalem told


Fox News correspondent Cameron falsely suggested
that polls show most Americans support amending U.S. Constitutionto ban
same-sex marriage

Media Matters for America, DC, July 19, 2006

Cameron falsely suggested that polls show most Americans support amending
U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage

Summary: On Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume, Carl Cameron falsely
suggested that public opinion polls show that most Americans support
amending the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage. While some recent
polls indicate that a majority of Americans believe same-sex marriage should
be illegal, most polls that directly addressed a federal constitutional
amendment show that a plurality or even a majority of Americans oppose it.

On the July 18 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume, Fox News
chief political correspondent Carl Cameron falsely suggested that public
opinion polls show that most Americans support amending the U.S.
Constitution to ban same-sex marriage.



Gay police in anti-religion probe

The Gay Police Association (GPA) is being investigated after it claimed a
rise in homophobic attacks was due to religious belief.

An advert, showing a Bible next to a pool of blood under the heading "in
the name of the father", appeared in a national newspaper's supplement.

Scotland Yard said the inquiry "centres on whether the advert
constitutes a faith crime."


Judge Rules N.C. Anti-Cohabitation Law Unconstitutional

POSTED: 12:47 pm EDT July 20, 2006

RALEIGH, N.C. -- A state judge has ruled that North Carolina's 201-year-old
law barring unmarried couples from living together is unconstitutional.

A lawsuit challenging the law was brought last year by the state chapter of
the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of a former Pender County
sheriff's dispatcher. Deborah Hobbs, who had been living with her boyfriend,
quit her job in 2004 after Sheriff Carson Smith demanded she marry her
boyfriend or move out if she wanted to work for him.

State Superior Court Judge Benjamin Alford issued the ruling late Wednesday,
saying the law violated Hobbs' constitutional right to liberty. He cited the
2003 U.S. Supreme Court case titled Lawrence v. Texas, which struck down a
Texas sodomy law.

"The Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas stands for the proposition
that the government has no business regulating relationships between two
consenting adults in the privacy of their own home," Jennifer Rudinger,
executive director of the ACLU of North Carolina, said in a statement.


Riga - 22 July 2006

The Administrative Court of Latvia has today upheld the decision of Riga
City Council to refuse a permit for the Riga Gay Pride march this Saturday
23 July.

"The court is believed to have made its decision based on threats against
Riga Pride and on 'security grounds,'" said UK gay campaigner Peter Tatchell
who was in the Riga court to hear the judgement.

"The court refused to disclose the nature of the threats against Riga Gay
Pride or who made these threats. The judges declared the nature of the
threats to be a "state secret" which must remain classified for five years.

[Please contact us at if you would like the full article]

A Lesbian Mother's Case Tests Chile's View of Human Rights

SANTIAGO, Chile, July 17 - As a young judge, inspired by the democratic glow
that followed the ouster of Gen. Augusto Pinochet and his dictatorship in
1990, Karen Atala had an unwavering faith in justice and the rule of law.
But that was all before Chile's Supreme Court stripped her of custody of her
three daughters two years ago because she had publicly identified herself as
a lesbian.

Now Judge Atala, 42, has become a symbol of what she and homosexual groups
that have emerged here in recent years, at first tentatively but now with
growing assertiveness, describe as a different kind of human rights


South Africa's Constitutional Court To Rule On Gay Estates
by Newscenter Staff
July 20, 2006 - 9:00 pm ET

(Pretoria) If one partner dies without leaving a will what happens to the
estate. It is a problem faced by same-sex couples wherever same-sex marriage
is not yet legal, and one which will be tackled next month by South Africa's
Constitutional Court.

The case involves a man whose partner's parents have fought him through the
courts challenging his claim to the estate.

Mark Gory and Henry Brooks met in 2003 and soon began a relationship. The
following year they purchased a house and moved in together. But, the house
and most of the couple's other joint possessions were in Brooks' name.

July 21, 2006

Same - Sex Marriage Pioneers Separate
Filed at 1:36 a.m. ET

BOSTON (AP) -- The lesbian couple whose lawsuit led to legal same-sex
marriage in Massachusetts have announced they have separated.

''Julie and Hillary Goodridge are amicably living apart,'' Mary Breslauer, a
local political consultant, said Thursday night on their behalf. Breslauer
declined to comment on how long they had been separated or whether the
couple planned to divorce.

The Goodridges were among seven gay couples whose lawsuit helped thrust
Massachusetts into the center of a nationwide debate on gay marriage. The
state's Supreme Judicial Court issued its narrow 4-3 ruling in November 2003
in their favor -- saying gays and lesbians had a right under the state
constitution to wed.


July 21, 2006

Lawyers Debate 'Gay Panic' Defense
Filed at 2:00 a.m. ET

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Prosecutors said Thursday they want to limit the use
of ''gay panic'' defenses -- where defendants claim their crimes were
justified because of fear or anger over their victims' sexual orientation.

''The suggestion that criminal conduct is mitigated by bias or prejudice is
inappropriate,'' said San Francisco District Attorney
Kamala Harris, who organized a two-day national conference on the issue.
''We can't outlaw it, but we can combat it.''

Lawmakers in California and New York are considering bills to deter the
common courtroom strategy of making a victim's sexual orientation central to
a criminal defense.

Both measures would require judges to remind jurors that bias toward the
victim cannot influence their deliberations.